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Mead noob here

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Bgrae001

NewBee
Registered Member
Mar 9, 2015
1
0
0
Hello everyone. I'm new to mead and just bottled my first batch of blackberry mead about 2 weeks ago. I've been brewing beer for a few years and making wine for about 6 months.

When I bottled my mead is was beautifully clear. It was a 1 gallon batch and I didn't add anything to stabilize it before bottling.

Now 2 weeks after bottling I'm getting a brown haze in the bottle. I used star San to sanitize all my equipment and bottles. It seems to be settling at the bottom of the bottle. All the bottles are stored on their side in a dark box

The question is, what should I do? Leave it alone? Will it affect the flavor?

Thanks in advance. Brian
 

Khan

NewBee
Registered Member
Apr 11, 2012
93
2
0
South jersey
It sounds like you still have residual yeast when you bottled and they weren't quite ready to give up (that would account for the sediment you're describing); even when mead is crystal-clear, yeast can still be active... be careful that you don't end up with bottle-bombs.
If I'm correct, depending on what yeast you used, there could be some off-flavors from storing on the lees for too long.

if you don't mind me asking: is there a reason you didn't stabilize before bottling? How did you determine that fermentation was complete? I don't stabilize either (part of my excuse is religious, the other part is personal preference), I wait for a few months, sometimes, before bottling; and I rack 2 or 3 times, until I am comfortable with the produce. I had a bottle blow it's cork while in my living-room wine cabinet, scared the heck out of us... quite a mess too! But, I'm lucky it only blew the cork, it could have just as easily shattered the bottle.
 

bernardsmith

Got Mead? Patron
GotMead Patron
Sep 1, 2013
1,608
15
38
Saratoga Springs , NY
It sounds like you still have residual yeast when you bottled and they weren't quite ready to give up (that would account for the sediment you're describing); even when mead is crystal-clear, yeast can still be active... be careful that you don't end up with bottle-bombs.
If I'm correct, depending on what yeast you used, there could be some off-flavors from storing on the lees for too long.

if you don't mind me asking: is there a reason you didn't stabilize before bottling? How did you determine that fermentation was complete? I don't stabilize either (part of my excuse is religious, the other part is personal preference), I wait for a few months, sometimes, before bottling; and I rack 2 or 3 times, until I am comfortable with the produce. I had a bottle blow it's cork while in my living-room wine cabinet, scared the heck out of us... quite a mess too! But, I'm lucky it only blew the cork, it could have just as easily shattered the bottle.
Not obvious why you would NEED to stabilize any wine (or mead) that you are not sweetening or that you know has fermented dry... If you age the mead/wine adequately and you have no residual sugars left (I don't make sweet wines) then I cannot see how you are likely to create bottle bombs or exploding corks and caps. Of course, if you use so much sugar /honey that the yeast conk out before completing the fermentation because they do not have enough tolerance for either the concentration of sugar or from alcohol poisoning (or both) then there is always the risk that enough yeast will survive and will continue burping out CO2 as they munch through the sugars... then you are likely to face exploding bottles and volcanoes of mead and wine

But that said, I too think the problem with Bgrae001's batch is that he may have bottled his mead too soon and what is happening is that the yeast is flocculating and precipitating out - creating this brown haze in what was previously a more clear liquid. What should he do? Not sure... If the mead was bottled too soon then he will find more of the precipitate will drop out. If it is fruit and yeast flocculating then it may not create any off flavors even over time .. but most folk I know prefer to pour crystal clear meads and wines... so one possibility may be to pour the mead back into a carboy and allow it to age another 6-9 months while racking off any lees every two or three months...
 

EJM3

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 21, 2013
1,008
1
0
47
The Boozevarian Village of Leavenworth WA
I know that from getting into doing a few beer/braggots that as little as 1.002 points can fully carbonate a beer, a bit more can over carb it so it geysers. But beer bottles are meant to handle those kinds of stresses. (2 to 3 volumes of Co2) & champagne can handle upwards of 6 volumes. Wine bottles on the other hand are capable of, well, they aren't meant that so could fail at 1/2 volume, or maybe 2 volumes.

I have some mead that finished up at .990, that is pretty low, but in theory it can go down further (.980 IIRC). Again depends on the yeast (champagne yeast are noted for lasting a decade in a bottle, or more) & and several other factors including pH.

This is not to scare you, just what I have learned on my travels and travails myself.


The browning sounds like the may be some oxidative or reductive reactions happening in there, not sure what that could be. I have had 1 batch that turned a funky brown and tasted like cardboard from a bung that did not seal...
 
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